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The invasion of Afrin by Turkey, a member State of the Council of Europe and a NATO ally

Written declaration No. 653 | Doc. 14498 | 29 January 2018

Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Ms Hannah BARDELL, United Kingdom, NR ; Mr Jokin BILDARRATZ, Spain, ALDE ; Mr Ľuboš BLAHA, Slovak Republic, SOC ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Yves CRUCHTEN, Luxembourg, SOC ; Ms Miren Edurne GORROTXATEGUI, Spain, UEL ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Ms Ioanneta KAVVADIA, Greece, UEL ; Ms Filiz KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Rustam MAKHMUDYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Mr Rasmus NORDQVIST, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Mr Søren SØNDERGAARD, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, NR

The Kurdish region of Afrin has been one of the most stable and safe regions in Syria until its recent and unprovoked invasion by Turkey with the approval of the Russian Federation and the general silence of the international community. Afrin has also been hosting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people from other war-torn regions of Syria.

This invasion is not simply destabilising Afrin but also undermining the fight against ISIS, creating various security and humanitarian risks, and destroying the already fragile efforts to build peace in the country.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as of 23 January 2017, at least 27 civilians, including women and children have been killed in Turkish airstrikes. Thousands of citizens have already been displaced. And there are many casualties on both sides.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Turkish government to immediately stop this unprovoked invasion and focus on a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict. We also call upon the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly to take a pro-active stance in ending the invasion and contribute to the efforts at peace building in Syria through an inclusive political process.